BabyT has been an early talker and his vocabulary consisted of 20 odd words by the time he was 1. He could identify most vegetables, fruits, animals and birds. No, he was not born with this skill. It was something he acquired. How did we do this? Books, a lot of them. But largely it was do with Flash Cards. Our positive experience with Flash Cards convinced me that this was a great way to learn for babies. It stimulated the right skills and so learning happened very quickly. And when I heard of Quantum Cards by Brainsmith I was stunned to see that this was a well researched and thought about product. I was sure flash cards would do #babyT a world of good. But more than that I was intrigued to know how Brainsmith did their Flash Cards differently.
I wrote to Brainsmith and asked if I could use and review their products. They responded quite positively and enthusiastically and the very next day I had the cards in my hand. I was sent the cards titled as Mammals. Now my first thought when I saw the pack was that the concept may be too advanced for babyT at 16 months. But I decided to trust Brainsmith when they said that these cards were suitable for children from the age of 8 months.
As with most things, I let babyT open the package himself. He gets quite excited whenever there is a courier package that arrives at home. His orders are to “Kaat” the box and let him rummage through the contents. This gets him quite enthused to use the product (most of the couriers are for him anyway. When did we moms ever buy anything for ourselves right?)
How we started using the Quantum Cards:
- We followed the instructions that Brainsmith recommends. To flash each card in front of the child who is to be seated facing you. While doing so you must announce the name of the object or person on the card face.
- The whole process should be done quickly say within 15 to 20 seconds. If the child is able to speak, pause between each card to let them repeat the name.
- Repeat the process a couple of times per day.
- Follow one set for about 3 weeks and then move on to another set of cards.
#BabyT picks up names and new words fairly quickly and within 3 to 5 flashes of the card knew at least half of the animal names – His early picks were Maatayk (Macaque Monkey), Paanda (Panda), Mooch (Moose), Owrus (Walrus), Beear (Beaver) Within another week or so he had picked the rest of the names – Kwala (Koala), Buu Whale (Blue Whale), Kaaroo (Kangaroo), Jaapu (Giraffe – I have no idea why its Jaapu), Fai Fossh (Flying Fox).
I then decided to venture deeper. Now this is the speciality of Brainsmith’s Quantum Cards. They are encyclopaedic and contain a lot of information about the animals on the back side of the card. This information covers the habitat and living conditions of the animal. It also gives inputs about what their primary diet consists of and their habits.
I did realise that some of this information may make no sense to babyT right now. However I picked the simpler ones such as what they ate and where they lived and went with it. For example, he learned that the Maatayk (Macaque monkey) eats fruits, bugs and eggs. He knows that the West African Giraffe lives in Appeeka (Africa.) and eats leaves and tree twigs. ((Sometimes when daddy is really late from work, babyT says he had gone to Appeeka. I am happy that he knows that Apeeka is really far away and so it takes a long time to get back from. hahha)) BabyT also tells us that the Boo Whale (Blue Whale) lives in the water.
Other ways I supplemented learning with Brainsmith’s Quantum Cards:
- Our backyard is lush in Bamboo plants. I got the gardener to bring us some bamboo leaves and showed babyT what Pandas eat. It was nice for babyT to touch and feel the bamboo leaves. He now says Bamboo excitedly when we talk about the Panda card.
- Showed him very short YouTube videos of these animals from the National Geographic Kids channel. I don’t think babyT will see a real live Walrus anytime soon. Some screen time when it is educational and supported by adult intervention and supervision is justified. BabyT was really delighted to see these animals come to life on the telly. He enthusiastically picked out all the cards when the matching animal turned up on the TV.
- Played Where is …? with the cards.
Spread the cards out in the playroom and asked him to go fetch them when I said the name of the animal.
- I bought matching animal figurines for him from Hamleys. Sadly I found only the Giraffe and Macaque monkey of all things. But he loves holding and hugging them both. The figurines from Hamleys are very real and look exactly like they do on the cards.
- At random times in the day, even if the cards are not around us I ask him questions about the cards. Say we are reading a book about the ocean or seas and we spot a walrus, I ask him about it and what it eats and how it looks. BabyT loves imitating a walrus with its two teeth sticking out. 🙂
- We make sure whoever comes home, has a session with the cards. So if it is grandparents or friends visiting, babyT fishes out his cards and tells them all that he knows about his mammal friends.
What I love about Brainsmith’s Quantum Cards:
- Great quality cards. BabyT has bent, sat and folded the cards in a million ways. But they don’t really get bent too badly. This is because the paper itself is of a superlative quality.
- The images are so artistic and professionally drawn. Brainsmith says all the images are licensed and hand drawn and painted. The fine work shows and is a true reflection of what that object must look like in real life.
- The cards themselves are huge. The images therefore are large and contrast well against the clean, white background. This helps create a visual impact on the mind. It stimulates visual learning. When the different senses are used to learn, the learning is more permanent.
- The information provided behind each card is succinct and will suit younger children as well as older ones. I am sure we will keep finding new elements about each animal as babyT grows up.
- Each set contains 10 cards which is good for a one time learning activity. Other flash cards sets that I have, had like 20 to 30 cards and even I found it too boring to go through them all. I also love the summary card which has images of all the mammals on it. BabyT loves reading and pointing the animals out on his own here.
My ratings for Brainsmith’s Quantum Cards:
- Ease of use: 5/5
- Appearance: 5/5 I love the illustrations and the colours. They are classy and appealing. At the same time they contribute to learning.
- Value for money: 4/5 It is a little expensive at Rs. 699 for a set. However the quality is unmatched. You can buy a combo pack for a discounted price.
- Meets its objective: 10/5 hahah .. I do know my math. I am very impressed with the results. And I would highly recommend it to you.
Do you need to use Quantum Cards for your little ones? Yes, you do. I have seen the value that a set of Flash Cards brings. I would love for you to experience the same. Do let me know how your experience was or if you have already used Brainsmith Quantum cards and what you thought of them.